I agree with Paul, the best timing for a severe pruning is just as flowering finishes. For best results, it should be done in the fall or in early spring before new growth begins. There are a number of things home gardeners can do to keep rhodies and azaleas long-lived and healthy, according to Jan McNeilan, retired horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service. Pruning to facilitate moving. And spring is a good time to give these beautiful shrubs the care they deserve. Prepare an indoor area for starting seeds. When to Prune Rhododendrons Generally you will want to prune rhododendrons right after the plant is through flowering. Talk to us. Other pruning I did was to pinch out new growth (after they bloomed) where I didn't want them advancing (like into the turnaround parking area). AURORA - Rhododendrons and azaleas herald spring in Oregon. Prune before the blooming season to reduce the number of flowers. I have cut rhodies almost to leafless stumps at that time, cutting above a plump dormant bud on each limb. You can prune in early spring or late winter to discourage your plant from producing as many flowers, and encourage it to put its energy into growing new branches and leaves. Sometimes large, long-established rhododendrons have to be moved. Most pruning of large flowered Rhodys should be done in the early spring at blooming time. Pruning Rhododendrons Rhododendrons can be pruned as much or as little as you like. This is a sizeable but relatively simple job. January: Order seeds for starting indoors in a few weeks or outdoors in a few months. The first year, cut 1/3 of the rhodie way down. Swansons Nursery, 9701 15th Ave NW, Seattle, WA, 98117, United States 206-782-2543 garden@swansonsnursery.com Swansons Hours: On-site shopping by reservation only. have an attractive, natural shape that may lead you to believe they don't need regular pruning. You can tell us about news and ask us about our journalism by emailing newstips@heraldnet.com or by calling 425-339-3428.; If you have an … It is too early to prune hardy fuchsia, tender plants like escallonia, lavender and jasmine, and keep your clippers away from spring blooming rhodies, azaleas and camellias. Pruning … Order pick-up available from 9am-6pm daily. The roots are cut back (pruned) with a sharp shovel, leaving a wide but shallow pad of roots and soil. The how to prune and when to prune are more important than how much to prune, when it comes to Rhododendron Plants. As dotty says, they do take pruning pretty well. Light pruning and shaping should be done every year at the time you remove the old flowers. Rhododendrons & Severe Pruning. I've read that if you really want to downsize them, to do it 1/3 at a time. You should do this if you want your rhododendron to grow larger or taller. 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